European Parliament approval of funding for Ignalina NPP decommissioning demonstrates political strength and is of strategic importance

Date

2019 01 18

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At the plenary session on 17 January, the European Parliament (EP) approved the report on the draft Ignalina programme regulation, in which funding of EUR 780 million, the exact amount requested by Lithuania, is proposed to be allocated for the decommissioning of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant in the EU multiannual financial framework.

Today, the EP approved the proposal of Rebecca Harms, the EP rapporteur on the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) decommissioning funding issues, to maintain the existing level of EU financing – the EU contributes 86 per cent of the value of the projects of the Ignalina NPP decommissioning, while the remaining part is funded by Lithuania.

“The support of the European Parliament, which is strategically important, shows that Europe acknowledges the progress made by us in the process of the Ignalina NPP decommissioning. It is a significant and strong political message – the decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP is a common issue and responsibility of Lithuania as well as the whole Europe. It is the case now and must continue to be in the future,” said the Minister of Energy Vaičiūnas.

The EP also approved the proposal of Ms. Harms on the long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel, highlighting that this issue should not be dealt with by Lithuania alone. The EU should contribute to the solution of the issue of a deep geological repository for long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste of the Ignalina NPP.

Therefore, the report contains an opinion about the necessity to initiate consultations on including the issue of funding of the final management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste from the Ignalina programme in the future multiannual financial frameworks of the EU.

The final decision on the Ignalina programme regulation for the next multiannual financial framework will be adopted by the EU Council. The EP opinion is of advisory nature.

Lithuania will actively continue negotiations with the Member States to secure necessary financial assistance for the uninterrupted continuation of the planned decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP in 2021-2027 and will seek to establish favourable conditions of such financing.

The Ignalina NPP decommissioning works are progressing smoothly, installation of the radioactive waste management infrastructure is coming to an end – six out of nine objects have been installed and are in operation. Nearly half of containers (88 of 190) with spent nuclear fuel have been moved to the temporary repository. Over 30 per cent of equipment has been dismantled until now. Preparations for most important and technologically complicated works – dismantling of two reactors that are most powerful in the world – have already been launched.